The Philodinavidae (Rotifera Bdelloidea): a special family

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Abstract

Here we focus on the fine morphology and present observations on the biology of representatives of family Philodinavidae. Philodinavus paradoxus and Henoceros falcatus were collected and cultured under laboratory conditions. Rotifers of both species are tiny, about 200 μm long, have protrudable trophi and creep with leech-like movements. A very specific feature of these rotifers is their corona; a V-shaped lower lip contours the mouth opening, bilaterally bordered by two arched cuticular structures (‘cheeks'). The presence of the cheeks is a feature shared by the third genus, Abrochtha. On the basis of the morphology and biology of the three genera, we advance the hypothesis that Philodinavus is a primitive bdelloid, and that it can have originated Henoceros and Abrochtha, from which the other bdelloids could have stemmed.

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